Comedian and Broadway Veteran Shelley Berman Dies at 92

Comedian Shelley Berman, who played Larry David's dad on 'Curb,' dead at 92

He was hailed as one of the first performers to consider comedy an art, performing "concerts" ntot just club "gigs" - and it brought him great success. His career was full of firsts: His debut comedy album, Inside Shelley Berman, was the first non-musical record to win a Grammy award in the ceremony's history, and he was the first comedian ever to perform at Carnegie Hall.

Perched on a bar stool, Berman did not deliver a string of jokes. In one of his most famous routines, Berman calls Nichols Department Store to let them know a woman is about to jump off the store's ledge.

Berman began his career after serving in the Navy and joined the Chicago improv company the Compass Players, which eventually became Chicago's Second City. He would go on to appear twelve more times over four seasons. "But I did not deserve the things that were said about me". I was not, in the strict sense of the word, a comedian.

Along with his busy schedule in nightclubs and auditoriums, he fulfilled his first ambition to be an actor.

His reputation for being exacting was cemented by a 1963 documentary which captured him losing his temper after a telephone rang backstage.

Berman had trouble finding work after the incident and eventually filed for bankruptcy.

Besides comedy appearances, Berman acted on television shows like Peter Gunn, Bewitched, The Man From U.N.C.L.E.

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Berman appeared as Nat David on HBO's Curb Your Enthusiasm between 2002 and 2009, and received an Emmy nomination in 2008.

Along with Bob Newhart and Lenny Bruce, Shelley Berman helped change the tone and tenor of American humor.

Berman is survived by his wife, Sarah, to whom he was married for 70 years, as well as their daughter, Rachel, and two grandsons.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, he passed away early Friday morning in his California home after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease.

Berman was 92 years old.

A friend of Berman posted the news on Facebook, stating that the comedian had "slipped away peacefully, in his sleep, with no pain".

'Right now, I'm a bit of a wreck, having spent much of the last couple of hours crying, pacing, being unable to concentrate, and, frankly, being conflicted as to how I should feel about all of this.

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